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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Agriculture||View Options:  |  |  |   

Agriculture on Ancient Coins

Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 440 - 430 B.C.

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Metapontum was one of the cities where the doctrines and sect of Pythagoras obtained the firmest footing. Even when the Pythagoreans were expelled from Crotona, they maintained themselves at Metapontum, where the philosopher himself retired, and where he ended his days. The Metapontines paid the greatest respect to his memory; they consecrated the house in which he had lived as a temple to Ceres, and gave to the street in which it was situated the name of the Museum. His tomb was still shown there in the days of Cicero.
GS91978. Silver obol, Noe-Johnston 2, pl. 44, 346.3; SNG Ash 680; SNG Stockholm 192; HN Italy 1500 var. (horns downward); HGC I 1087 (R2) var. (same); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, flow lines, slightly off center, tiny edge splits, weight 0.435 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, die axis 0o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 440 - 430 B.C.; obverse ear of barley in border of large dots; reverse ox head facing with horns pointed upward; ex FORVM (2009); very rare; $300.00 (264.00)


Kalchedon, Bithynia, c. 340 - 320 B.C.

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The position of Chalcedon, on the eastern shore of the Bosporus, was not as favorable as that of Byzantion on the opposite side. The Persian Megabazus (Herod. iv. 144) said the founders of Chalcedon must have been blind, for Chalcedon was settled seventeen years before Byzantium; and the settlers, we must suppose, had the choice of the two places.
GS92991. Silver siglos, SNG BM 112; SNGvA 482; SNG Cop 348; BMC Pontos p. 124, 4; HGC 7 517, VF, centered on a tight flan, light marks, weight 5.377 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, Kalchedon (Kadikoya District, Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 320 B.C.; obverse bull standing left atop ear of grain, KAΛX above; reverse quadripartite incuse square of mill-sail pattern, pebbled texture within incuse areas; ex Civitas Galleries; $300.00 (264.00)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. This reverse suggests the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people. By the Code De Naviculariis, the mariners appointed to carry grain from Egypt could be executed if they did not keep the proper course; and if they did not sail in the proper season, the master of the vessel would be banished.
RB91949. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 677a (S); BMCRE V p. 130, 519; Cohen IV 33 var. (cuirassed); SRCV II 6405 var. (same), gVF/aF, superb portrait, tight squared flan typical for the period cutting off much of legends, porous, Annona's head weak, weight 18.355 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP IIII, laureate head right; reverse ANNONA AVG COS II P P, Annona standing slightly left, head left, two stalks of grain in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, modius overflowing with grain at feet on left, S - C flanking low across field; scarce; $200.00 (176.00)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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Bonus Eventus, the god of good outcomes, was originally worshiped by the Romans as a deity especially presiding over agriculture and successful harvests. During the Imperial era, he was associated with other types of success. The epithet Bonus, "the Good," is used with other abstract deities such as Bona Fortuna ("Good Fortune"), Bona Mens ("Good Thinking" or "Sound Mind"), and Bona Spes ("Good Hope," perhaps to be translated as "optimism"), as well as with the mysterious and multivalent Bona Dea, a goddess whose rites were celebrated by women.
RS92309. Silver denarius, RIC IV 369; RSC III 68; BMCRE V p. 91, 343; SRCV II 6267; Hunter III 176 var. (IMP CE L..), Choice gVF, well centered and struck, toned, edge cracks, weight 3.208 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, laureate head right; reverse BONI EVENTVS, Bonus Eventus standing slightly left, head left, raising a shallow basket of fruit in right hand, two heads of grain downward in left; $160.00 (140.80)


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Southeastern Anatolia, Uncertain Mint

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This type was struck in 26 B.C. when Augustus was consul for the 8th time and, as we learn from the reverse legends of their coinage, T. Vomanius and M. Memmius Flam. were quinquennial douvirs, for the second time. RPC I notes that the humped bulls on the reverse of this type, and a twin goddess reverse type struck by the same douvirs, suggest the mint was in southeastern Anatolia, but the mint city remains uncertain.
RP89869. Bronze AE 22, RPC I 5412 (3 spec.), aF, porous, a little rough, weight 7.189 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Roman colony mint, 26 B.C.; obverse IMP CAESAR DIVI F AVGVSTVS COS VIII, bare head right; reverse T VOMAN M MEMM FLAM QVINQ ITER, two priests with yoke of two humped oxen right, plowing the pomerium (sacred boundary), founding the new colony; behind, aquila between two signa; only two sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $150.00 (132.00)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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In ancient Roman religion and myth, Tellus Mater or Terra Mater ("Mother Earth") is a goddess of the earth. Although Tellus and Terra are hardly distinguishable during the Imperial era, Tellus was the name of the original earth goddess in the religious practices of the Republic or earlier. The scholar Varro (1st century B.C.) lists Tellus as one of the di selecti, the twenty principal gods of Rome, and one of the twelve agricultural deities. She is regularly associated with Ceres in rituals pertaining to the earth and agricultural fertility.
RS92847. Silver denarius, RIC II 276(d), RSC II 1427, BMCRE III 739, SRCV II 3543, Choice VF/F, well centered, toned, flow lines, light scratches, small edge crack, weight 3.023 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 133 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse TELLVS STABIL, Tellus standing left, plow handle in right hand, rake in left hand, two stalks of grain at feet on right; $140.00 (123.20)


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Perinthos, Thrace

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Perinthos, later called Heraclea and Marmara Eregli today, is 90 km west of Istanbul near a small pointed headland on the north shore of the Marmara Sea. It is said to have been a Samian colony, founded about 599 B.C. It is famous chiefly for its stubborn and successful resistance to Philip II of Macedon in 340 B.C.; at that time it seems to have been more important than Byzantium itself.
RP92876. Bronze AE 20, CN Online Perinthos CN_4717, Schonert Perinthos 380, Varbanov III 100 (R6), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, gVF, nice portrait, uneven patina, a little off center, weight 4.140 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 128 - c. 136 A.D.; obverse CABINA - CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse Π-EPIN-ΘIWN, Demeter standing left, two stalks of grain in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; $130.00 (114.40)


Iol-Caesarea, Mauretania, North Africa, c. 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.

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Phoenicians from Carthage founded Iol as a trading station around 400 B.C. It became a part of the kingdom of Numidia under Jugurtha, c. 160 - 104 B.C. In 29 B.C., Roman emperor Augustus made the Numidian King Juba II and his wife Cleopatra Selene II (daughter of Marc Antony and Cleopatra of Egypt) king and queen of Mauretania. The capital was established at Iol, which was renamed Caesarea in honor of the emperor.
GB85358. Bronze 1/4 Unit, Alexandropoulos MAA 147; Falbe-Lindberg III, p. 177, 290 (uncertain mint); SNG Cop 684 var. (kerykeion obv. left), F, dark green patina, tight flan, light corrosion, weight 2.102 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 270o, Iol-Caesarea (Cherchell, Algeria) mint, c. 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.; obverse head of Isis left, wearing vulture crown and horned solar-disk headdress; reverse three ears of barley; extremely rare; $110.00 (96.80)


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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A caduceus is a wand entwined at one end by two serpents, each of whose bodies folds again in the form of two half-circles, whilst the head passes above the wand. It was an attribute peculiar to Mercury. Prudence is generally supposed to be represented by these two serpents, and the wings which are sometimes added to the Caduceus, are the symbols of diligence, both needful qualities in the pursuit of trade and commerce, which Mercury patronized. It was also the symbol of peace and concord, which that deity is related to have received from Apollo in return for the lyre.
RS91220. Silver denarius, RIC III 136, RSC II 344, BMCRE IV 530, Hunter II 139, Strack III 166, SRCV II 4078, F, well centered, light tone, light marks, edge cracks, weight 3.169 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 145 - 161 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right; reverse COS IIII, clasped hands holding stalks of grain and caduceus; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 76 (7 Apr 2019), part of lot 942; $110.00 (96.80)


Uncertain City (Panormos?), Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 211 - 190 B.C.

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In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained for many years one of the principal cities of Sicily. It continued to issue bronze coins, bearing the names of various resident magistrates, and following the Roman system. Under Augustus, Panormus received a Roman colony.
GI89312. Bronze triens, Semuncial standard; Calciati I p. 365, 205 (Panormos); SNG Mnchen 835 (Panormos); HGC 2 1691 (R1, uncertain Romano-Sicilian); SNG Cop -, aVF, off center but types on flan, a little rough, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Romano-Sicilian mint, c. 211 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Demeter-Ceres left, small cornucopia behind neck; reverse double cornucopia, overflowing with bunches of grapes, tied with fillets, four pellets (mark of value) in a vertical line to left; rare; $100.00 (88.00)




  



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Agriculture